I’m sitting in the hospital beside Bo who’s in pain and doesn’t understand any of this. We came to the emergency room last night, and the diagnosis after a battery of tests is kidney stone. So we’re here a second night, Bo’s on morphine and I’m holding my breath, waiting for the meds to kick in.
Jon left at 1 am and I spent the night and morning here in this chair trying to get comfortable and jumping up every time Bo stirred because the IV, the heart monitors and his hospital bracelet all bothered him so he tried to remove them, plus he was being filled with fluids and there were sudden, urgent needs.
We’re in a special room where the nurses can observe us. There’s a window between the room and the nurses’ station and he is lying on a special pad which sends out a very annoying warning if he gets off the bed, in fact, even if he raises up his body. Yet with all of this, nurses can’t come instantly and Bo can be quick.
It’s clear that he couldn’t be here in the hospital alone, no matter how many safeguards they have taken. Bo needs someone beside him all the time to help, to keep him from pulling out the tubes, to help him wash and eat and go to the bathroom (if we can get there in time.) And to calm him and let him know we’re here. So Jon and I are sharing 24-hour duty. How would I do this alone?
Doctors and nurses were in and out all day reporting results and discussing his condition. Should they add high blood pressure medicine? Will they keep him here to observe? Will a procedure need to be performed to remove the stone? A long time ago I promised Bo no life-extending measures. I feel very strongly that I am his protector; I made a promise and I will keep it. I will make every decision to keep him comfortable; I will not extend his life.
The man in the other bed in the room is sundowning. He tried to pack, has cursed out the nurses, refused to stay in his bed ( his alarm was continuously going off), so finally they have moved him to the nurse’s station where he sits, disgruntled and sometimes angry, and says so eloquently, “I’m tired of this s___ !” We’re so fortunate that Boris is quiet, polite and compliant.
I went home this afternoon, took a nap, cleaned up, walked Emma and came back with a salad for dinner for me and praline pretzel ice cream for Bo. I’m set up for the night with my computer, phone, a novel, the NY Sunday Times and a little stool to prop my feet on. It’ll be a long night and I’ll be exhausted when Jon comes at 9 am, but it’s the only way. I don’t want Boris to ever feel alone.